The decade's most triggering comedy
The Biden administration said the Supreme Court “got it wrong” on student debt forgiveness in a recent email to student loan holders.
The Education Department’s Federal Student Aid office sent a letter to Americans who still owe student loans, assuring them that the administration would keep fighting to forgive their debt.
“We believe the Supreme Court got it wrong,” read the email, which was signed by Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.
“While we disagree with the Court’s decision, our Administration will not stop fighting to provide debt relief to borrowers. We will use every tool at our disposal to do so,” Cardona wrote.
The email explained that the Supreme Court’s decision means the Biden administration cannot move forward with its student debt forgiveness plan.
Last month, the Supreme Court struck down President Biden’s $430 billion student debt relief policy that would have forgiven the student debt of about 40 million people. The high court ruled 6-3 that the HEROES Act of 2003 does not give Biden the authority to cancel billions in student loan debt.
After the court’s decision, Biden said he would “stop at nothing to find other ways to deliver relief to hard-working middle-class families.”
The Education Department had already approved applications for more than 16 million borrowers, the department said.
“President Biden and I recognize how critical student debt relief would have been for tens of millions of Americans and their families,” the email said.
The administration outlined three debt relief actions it is taking “immediately” instead of the massive debt forgiveness plan.
First, the administration is working on a long-term plan to forgive student loans using “negotiated rulemaking,” a long process involving the Education Department and a negotiating committee that could take years — and could be interrupted by a new president getting elected.
Second, the administration announced the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan, which will cut monthly payments to $0 for millions of low-income borrowers starting later this summer. The cut-off is $32,800 for a single person and $67,500 for a borrower in a family of four. All other borrowers will save at least $1000 a year under the SAVE plan, and the SAVE plan will also stop “runaway interest,” the administration said.
Third, the Education Department will ensure borrowers are protected from the “worst consequences” of late or partial payments, such as a hit to their credit score when the student loan payment pause ends this fall.
The Biden administration made yet another move on debt forgiveness last week.
The administration announced it would forgive $39 billion in student debt for about 804,000 borrowers. That debt relief is the result of changes to the student loan system’s income-driven repayment programs. The programs were built to forgive student debt after borrowers have been making payments for at least 20 or 25 years, depending on their loan. However, few borrowers have actually gotten their loans forgiven under that system.
In total, the Biden administration has forgiven more than $116.6 billion in student loans for more than 3.4 million borrowers so far, the Education Department said.
Leftist lawmakers and activists have long called for broad student debt relief and for years have urged the Biden administration to grant it. Critics argue that forgiving student loans is unfair to those who sacrificed to pay off their loans, especially since taxpayers ultimately pay for any government-funded debt relief.